Monday, May 07, 2012

Independence for Scotland will be pointless if we destroy our country with incinerators, fracking, deregulation and government acting in the interests of billionaires and big firms who only want short term profits at everyone else's expense

Unfortunately I didn't get enough votes to be elected ( I got 246 first preference votes and 353 votes - about 6% of those cast , including 2nd and 3rd and 4th preferences before I was eliminated). Not bad on 3 weeks campaigning and a budget of £600. (I was standing as a candidate to be a councillor in the Clydesdale West ward of South Lanarkshire Council).

I'd like to thank everyone who voted for me and campaigned for me and everyone who took the time to talk to me while I was canvassing. I will pass on all the issues you raised to the four candidates who were elected Councillors for the ward - Eileen Logan (Labour) , Lynsey Hamilton (Labour), David Shearer (SNP) and Pat Lee (SNP).

I want to thank retiring SNP Councillor Ian Gray for leading opposition to the incinerator on the planning committee and all the other councillors who voted against it, plus the AGADI organisers and volunteers and objectors and the Lanarkshire Green Party who also continue to campaign hard against it.

Though I was against Conservative councillor Alex Allison's vote in favour of the incinerator and have little time for his party or it's policies, residents in Crossford told me he worked hard for them on other issues, before losing his seat in this ward in the recent election.

I'd also like to congratulate Independent candidate Ed Archer, who was elected a councillor in neighbouring Clydesdale North ward, centred on Lanark; and who is also opposed to the incinerator and to the wind farm at Cartland.

I will be among many people launching campaigns to demand to know why the SNP Scottish Government, led by Alec Salmond, are not using the huge powers they have over council decisions, through control of around 80% of councils' budgets, to get Dovesdale and other wasteful, expensive, toxic, incinerators closed down and replaced with recycling and anaerobic digestion plants - and ditto on stopping fracking and on opening old railway stations (including in Law, where many residents asked for this).

The Scottish Government have demanded a Council Tax freeze from local councils in return for granting them funding (unwisely in my view) and could use the same kind of pressure to get Dovesdale and other Incinerators closed.

They have stepped in to over-rule local council planning decisions on Donald Trump's white elephant golf course (built over an SSSI full of endangered species and also including attempts to force people out of their homes by bully-boy tactics).

Residents in Kilncadzow tell me the Scottish Government also granted appeals to allow wind farms to be built at Kilncadzow and Cartland within 500 metres of peoples' houses, after the local council for once listened to residents and refused planning applications in each case. (Like the residents i'm in favour of turbines sited correctly - but not that close to houses.)

So Salmond and the SNP Scottish Government will intervene to help billionaires and big firms do things that are wrong and harmful, but not to cut funding to South Lanarkshire Council until it closes a toxic, over-priced incinerator? If so what's the difference between them and the other big party leaders?

I love my country and it's people. Alec Salmond and the other big party leaders say they love them too (whether they define them as Scotland or Britain). If you love your country and it's people why would you expose them to over-priced, deadly, wasteful incinerators ; to fracking which will poison our fresh water supplies (an increasingly valuable commodity worldwide with shortages growing in much of the worldwide) and our air and people ; and why would you over-rule local residents and councillors to let arrogant, incompetent billionaires like Trump get their way?

If you really love your country Alec, prove it. Close down the incinerators. Stop the fracking. Open the old railway stations. Regulate the banks. Listen to the people, not to big firms and billionaires who only want short term profit for themselves.

I'll also campaign for independence for Scotland when the referendum comes - i'm all for it to keep us out of Iraq, Afghanistan and maybe more Falklands and Iran wars and financial crises caused by deregulation in which ordinary people die or suffer for the profits of arms and oil firms and banks, and the careers of politicians; plus getting rid of tax havens that impoverish the majority to avoid the wealthiest and big firms paying their share.

But independence will change nothing if we become an independent Scotland destroyed for it's people, because it's run for big business and billionaires' short term profits at the expense of suffering for the vast majority. That would be no better than being part of a UK which is being destroyed in the same way.

Independents, Greens and socialists may not have been able to beat the big parties yet, but by god, if you big party leaders are in office and keep behaving like you are now we'll point up your hypocrisy constantly enough in one campaign after another (at elections and between them) that you'll have to change to more decent policies or else risk losing to one of the other big parties- and then do the same to whichever big party is in next until we get decent policies from them or else win ourselves and bring decent policies in ourselves.


Kit said...


If you plan to stand again, and it happens to be a relatively convenient time for me (my work can be a demanding), I would willingly offer my services as an video editor.

calgacus said...

Thanks Kit - very generous offer - that'd be great. My current plan is to rejoin the Greens and maybe stand for them next time, but no response from them on that so far - so might end up having to be Independent again. Plenty of issues to campaign on between elections. How did the London Assembly elections go?


Kit said...

I hope the that you do become the Green candidate - it would be an obvious advantage. When I've looked at your electoral material, I've often been impressed by you, but less so by your electioneering (online at least). For example, you go into great detail, and offer informed opinions, but I struggle to find your 2012 campaign leaflet. A PDF version would enable people to print, copy, send, etc. your most effective tool. (Note, the above stated with the caveats that I am remote and generally impressed by your efforts). I like that you focused on local issues, and had some innovative/engaging suggestions/solutions - I think that this is most likely to resonate with the electorate. It is clear that you listed to them.

As for London, there wasn't anything too remarkable. It was nice to see the Greens come third in the mayoral election - although it isn't of any real significance. Assembly-wise, the trends were to be expected; a greater percentage of votes for labour, and a better showing for the Greens (although, again, nothing meaningful) thanks to the fall in Lib Dem's share, and slight fall for the Conservatives (who lost two seats to Labour).

When and what would be the next election that you would consider campaigning for?

calgacus said...

Yes - that'd have been a good idea - i did it in the 2010 General Election, but you have to deliver your own leaflets in local elections (unless you pay thousands of pounds for delivery) so spent most of my time doing the website, leafleting and canvassing - so never uploaded my 2012 leaflet.

Might campaign in whatever election comes up next (European Parliament?) but definitely don't want to be a candidate in a European election (no wish to move to Brussels just for a minor influence on a ridiculously over-complicated legislative process).

Not sure how much point there is standing in a General Election any more after losing my deposit even after the expenses scandal and it's pretty expensive between deposit and 40,000 leaflets- though i might stand just to give voters another choice.

Would like to try in the next Scottish Parliament elections (years off), preferably as a Green if they'll have me back (no word back from them yet on that).

Planning on campaigning on other things between elections (e.g why the Scottish Government is doing nothing to stop incinerators and fracking, against cuts to public sector jobs and the welfare state, privatisation of the NHs, PFIs/PPPs, getting railway station at Law re-opened etc). Might be possible to get some things done without getting elected.

Kit said...

To my reckoning, the Scottish Parliament and General Election are due 2015, local (Scottish) elections 2017, and Euros 2014. My prediction is that the Lib Dems are going to be decimated in the Euros for being the 'Tory bitch' and pro-euro (especially at a time when all European news looks like bad news) - so, there is some hope for a Green victory in Scotland if they manage to attract enough disheartened Lib Dem voters. That said, unless the Greens back you, there would be no hope. Their ideal would be a nationally recognised candidate, because it is effectively a national election for a European position.

If you do decide to stand for any election, I would advise that you take the decision as early as possible so that you can get as much organised as you can

Best of luck with everything, keep me posted